Alaska packrafting in the 1980s and 1990s was an exercise in gear failure, hypothermia, and general suffering. The lightweight open vinyl and nylon inflatable boats available were simply not up to the task of the Alaska backcountry. But the experience of following your own path on a big landscape traverse was often worth the misery of paddling for hours in an ice water bathtub. Alpacka Raft was founded to remedy the gear failures and suffering on those original packraft trips. And we like to think that we’ve done a pretty good job over the years, innovating fabrics, hull shapes, spray decks, and the Cargo Fly internal storage system along the way. But as amazing as these innovations are, we still had a hole in our lineup for a packraft that would combine all of our best features into the lightest possible package for the ultimate landscape traverse packraft.
Meet the Refuge, weighing in at only 5.5lbs with a full whitewater deck and Cargo Fly. The Refuge utilizes the same hull design and lightweight fabrics as the Scout, which cuts nearly two pounds off the weight of a medium Classic with the same leg room. That weight savings can add days and miles to your range on big trips with a lot of hiking. Compared to the Classic, the Refuge is lighter and more packable but doesn’t offer as much carrying capacity, durability, or stability for every-day use. Experienced whitewater paddlers should be able to paddle the occasional Class III rapid in the Refuge, but whitewater and eddylines will be more difficult for novice and intermediate paddlers. The Refuge is ideal for the experienced wilderness packrafter who can limit their pack weight to 50lbs for a 14-day trip.
WHITEWATER DECK: The Refuge comes standard with the Whitewater Deck, our driest and warmest configuration. It is ideal for all water types in cool climates and the highest performance option for whitewater. The Whitewater Deck features a large kayak style cockpit and includes a one-piece PEX coaming, and an ultralight secure fitting spray skirt. Contact us if you need a XL or larger spray skirt tunnel size.